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First Person Shooter – Rethought

If it weren’t for developers like Defiant Development, you’d easily believe that creativity in the games industry is nearly extinct.

But those guys actually manage to take a really old and tired concept – i. e. a first person shooter – and spin it in order to make something else entirely:

A first person shooter.

Seriously. Hear me out.

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Would You Kindly? Playing Irrational Games' Bioshock

The praise that Bioshock has received from other critics is – after having played through the game – definitely well earned. Even though I’m usually not exactly a very good FPS player, I managed to get through the whole game. And it definitely was worth it. The world building in Bioshock is excellent, be its embedment into the historical background, or the rich story that shines through at every corner, or finally the beautifully captured art deco architecture, which simply is a joy to explore and walk through.

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Iconic Fortress

There are cases when iconic buildings are somewhat created by accident. One of them is the winding tower of the former Shime coal mine near the city of Fukuoka in Japan. Having been abandoned a long time ago, it has been built during the second world war, and features a rather peculiar design, as an article on the WebUrbanist notes:

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I'm Strong, But I Can't Help Myself

So first Kim referred to it, then Karin and finally Janina, so yes, I should definitely read that article, right?

So you know what I say? I say screw Strong Female Characters. What we need now are some Weak Female Characters. My arguments below the fold…

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In the Search for the Game Design Auteur

One of the reasons why getting into game design right now is so interesting is the fact that part of the business, of the creative process and of the production is still forming – and in a constant state of flux.

While on one hand, game production teams have grown larger in order to produce even more content (after all, many AAA titles boast to have 50+ hours playtime – which is 25 times as much as a normal action film), other people reduced their teams and are producing awesome games with teams of three or four people.

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Where Is the Horror?

Keith Stuart on The Guardian misses real, scary horror in games – even though this medium should be ideally suited for it.

Horror should be a key facet in the video game armoury – the unique element of interaction is seemingly purpose-built to drag us into nightmarish experiences. But, mostly, horror games are merely blood-soaked adventures or shooters, which borrow the clothes of successful horror movies without ever occupying the body of terror within.

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Some Games to Check Out

Some games that crept up last week during our seminar on collaborative virtual worlds as well as on the local game designers meeting.

Savage is an interesting sounding blend of RTS with a commander that has the overview over the game, while warriors have the first person view and might follow the commander’s orders.

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What Virtual Worlds Need (according to me)

While working on an assignement for our current module on collaborative virtual worlds, I think I started to understand what bugs me in both MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and sandbox games like Second Life. There are (as for now) two points:

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Getting the Squeak Out of the System

Today when working on my Unity3D game for Fantoche, I noticed it again: a short little squeak at the start of a triggered sound clip.

This has happened before in my prototype, but I chalked it off to my inferior post production skills when doing the first sound clips. The new sound clips, however, were pristine, I was sure of it.

So the problem had to be somewhere else. Changing a suspect in my trigger script did not change a thing.

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Zones of Alienation

In a beautiful piece over at BLDGBLOG, Jim Rossignol writes about how “science fiction exists to cast a shadow over the present”.

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